Friday, June 17, 2011

Conclusion to 365 Days


Thank you for sharing this year of my life with me, through all the tearful moments, the rantings, the meanderings of the mind, my laughter. I send each of you Love, with all m y heart.

I recently read these words of wisdom: I conclude my 365 Day challenge (to myself) with them.

The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers; wider freeways but narrower viewpoints.

We spend more but have less; we buy more but enjoy less.

We have bigger houses and smaller families; more conveniences but less time.

We have more degrees but less sense; more knowledge but less judgment; more experts yet more problems; more medicine but less wellness.

We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom.

We have multiplied our possessions but reduced our values.

We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.

We’ve learned how to make a living but not a life. We've added years to life, not life to years.

We've been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbour.

We've conquered outer space but not inner space.

We've done larger things but not better things.

We’ve cleaned up the air but polluted the soul.

We've conquered the atom but not our prejudice.

We write more but learn less.

We plan more but accomplish less.

We've learned to rush but not to wait.

We build more computers to hold more information to produce more copies than ever but we communicate less and less.

These are the times of fast food and slow digestion, big men and small characters, steep profits and shallow relationships.

These are the days of two incomes but more divorce; fancier houses but broken homes.

These are the days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer to quiet to kill.

It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom. It is a time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose to either share this insight or to just hit delete.

Remember to spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever.

Remember to say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person will soon grow up and leave your side.

Remember - give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn't cost a cent.

Remember to say "I love you" to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all mean it. A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you.

Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment, for someday that person will not be there again.

Give time to love!

Give time to speak!

And give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind.

And always remember: life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

(George Carlin)

365 Days, Day 365


To write a good love letter, you ought to begin without knowing what you mean to say, and to finish without knowing what you have written (Jacques Rousseau)

Every love letter, every hug, every tender kiss, every flower picked, every consoling talk is my heart acting out all the love and kindness that overfills me. I have other outlets -- gardening, motorcycle riding, cooking, sewing, poetry/spoken word, playing bass, exchanging letters and so on -- but my deeper connections with special people give me such an untouchable high and satisfaction. This is why I practice open relationships. It is not sexual validation that I'm searching for, but the mere act of giving, sharing, growing, inspiring, and loving creatively. I almost feel as if I could not go on with life without these connections (Wendy-O Matik)

Over the years, I have given my English students the following task:

Write a Love Letter to yourself.

To give them credit, no student ever complained and said they couldn’t do it. Some wrote better, more insightful letters than others. It is a really difficult task though.

I decided to end off this blog with the same task:

Write a Love Letter to yourself.

My Dearest Deidré

I am writing this to express my gratitude for your acceptance; for your resolute belief in me even when I am been filled with doubts and sadness. There is a part of you that is a part of me that carries us through the difficult storms.

I respect your strength of character, sensing when someone needs comfort or nurturing and stepping in, with your sense of inner calm.

I love your childlike humour and the great delight you take in small things, which others may overlook. Your humour may not be to everyone’s taste, it is somewhat quirky – but it makes me smile.

I admire your acceptance of new circumstances; even though to you ‘Acceptance’ means Sacrifice. You have handled the last two years rather well. You do have great tenacity. I urge you to be aware of the Lessons to be learned…

For an older woman, you are rather gorgeous! I know you have to ‘work’ at looking good, in your own ‘stylish’ way. Keep on, girl: you are never too old to preen! Carry on slapping on the old mascara and lippy. Keep on wearing the heels: I love that about you! Do not relinquish your eccentricity: go way over-the-top! Make heads turn. What hair colour is next, my sweetheart?

With love, I tell you that you have been brave in all your little endeavours. I know you get hurt and are disappointed when people or things don’t turn out the way you expect. Part of that is that you are an optimist and believe the best of everyone. Part of it is because you are a gentle soul, perhaps too gentle for this world. It is precisely your gentleness that draws others to you: do not allow yourself to become inured to the harshness of life. Keep your sincerity and naivety. I love that quality in you.

I also love that you are willing to ‘receive’. You have a wonderful daughter, who looks out for you when you are falling; you accept her assistance with love and with the knowledge that her intentions are pure. Never be too proud to say that you are not coping. Your loved ones will be there to step in and carry you.

Thank you for all the times you have made me laugh out loud, or have been absolutely passionate about an experience, a moment. Thank you for sharing with me the intense sense of enchantment you get from seeing, hearing, experiencing creativity in all its forms. Your heartfelt immersion in the moment is addictive. I want to see more of that level of interaction with you.

I truly want to encourage you to spread your creative wings and take flight. We also both know that you are being called to the softer nurturing world out there: go and do your massage course – make it happen. Express your creativity through Art!

And I leave you now with the express wish that you will Dance more often.

Look after yourself, meditate and continue to be the gentle you I love.

Much love,

D

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

365 Days, Day 364

The experiences you draw to you, through the opening in the doorway of your soul... stay open... only as long as you do... (Marlise Karlin)

You must not for one instant give up the effort to build new lives for yourselves. Creativity means to push open the heavy, groaning doorway to life. This is not an easy struggle. Indeed, it may be the most difficult task in the world, for opening the door to your own life is, in the end, more difficult than opening the doors to the mysteries of the universe (Daisaku Ikeda)

Just over a year of my life is represented in these blogs. I think it will be interesting to look back: perhaps in the form of a book. But I also look forward to new doorways that have yet to be opened.

I would really love some feedback from you to add to the blog/book on what you have thought of this blog. Every creative person needs positive encouragement: so many of us never quite believe we are good enough – ever in pursuit of perfection. At my advanced age I am still finding myself, or re-discovering myself in my Autumn Years.

My journey continues. One more blog to go on this 365 Day challenge…

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

365 Days, Day 363

One must have the adventurous daring to accept oneself as a bundle of possibilities and undertake the most interesting game in the world - making the most of one's best (Harry Fosdick)

Everyone is doing the best they can according to THEIR map of the world! (Author unknown)

Success is being the best you can be where you are right now (Yancey Grantham)

I can only do what I can do.

I have to accept that. Getting myself anxious because I can’t do everything I planned to do in a day, is no longer an option. I will do my very best at what I undertake, and do (try to) it with love. My map of the world at the moment has many navigational routes. I am doing the best according to this map. I am making the most of my best.

I read this today: As you think, so you are. Think the very best, and you will draw the very best to you.

Acceptance is very humbling at times. Accepting were we are, and that where we are, is exactly where we are meant to be. Navigating my map in my little ship, weathering the storms, relishing the calm and smooth. So my journey continues…

[P.S. no-one responded to my blog request yesterday – for Words. I am beginning to doubt the existence of my readers, of my reality.]

Monday, June 13, 2011

365 Days, Day 362

Young.

Old.

Just words.

(George Burns)

Better than a meaningless story of a thousand words is a single word of deep meaning which, when heard, produces peace (Buddha)

Languages are fluffy big pillows stuffed between nations - what others say is muffled and nearly lost in them, and when we speak their grammar we get feathers in our mouth. It's worth it. What pleasure to phrase an idea, even in child's words, slowly, and sail it across the gulf in another language to a different-speaking human being! (Richard Bach)

We have Words with which to communicate. Movements, gestures, looks. Our deeds speak volumes.

It’s not so much what we say, but how we say it.

It has been difficult for me to present a very public side of me with my words. I am essentially a private person. I have over the past year let you into my private life, some layers deeper than others. I have only a few days left. I would like some words from you, my readers: so I know you exist.

365 Days, Day 361


No one day is like another, each moment has its special miracle, its magic moment in which old universes are destroyed and new stars created (Paulo Coelho)

When we are present in each moment, the past gently rolls up behind us and the future slowly unravels before us (Richard Levy)

Things to do while waiting on the side of the highway in the pouring rain

You know how when driving on a highway, you often see these poor souls standing in the pouring rain next to their broken-down car – and you think, thank goodness that’s not me! Well this time it was us. Driving back from Birmingham – the journey should have taken 2 ½ hours; it took us 5 ½. When your car breaks down, you have to leave the vehicle and stand well away from the highway. It happened to be pouring with rain yesterday and the wind was howling. So there we were, having scarpered up the embankment, pressed against the wall under the bridge on the side of a noisy, busy highway, in the rain and the wind and the cold. It is actually very noisy – I hadn’t quite realised just how noisy – almost like being in a nightclub, with traffic noise instead of music though. And no alcohol. Actually Ada did mention that a hot toddy right then would be a good idea, or at least have one waiting for us when we got home.

Things to do while waiting on the side of the highway in the pouring rain:

  • Collect debris and create an instant mosaic art work. I collected shells! rusty metal, pebbles, stones, a broken Fanta cap, and something that looked like a metal jigsaw puzzle piece; And laid them out carefully, mosaic-ed together. Tom accidently stood on my artwork and destroyed it!

  • Count all the yellow cars (only two!) not counting all the AA vehicles, of which there were many!

  • Count all the horse boxes (two).

  • Have a competition between the cars that Ariél likes (Fiat 500) [right pocket] and the one I like (MG) [left pocket] – which featured the most. Right pocket won (5), with left pocket having only 3. At one stage it was neck-and-neck.

  • Ice-cream trucks (only 1, thank goodness we couldn’t hear it – I have a ‘thing’ about ice-cream trucks).

  • Examine all the foliage – hence the little poppy in the picture. I also decided to use Nature’s facilities, and slid down the embankment in the bushes whilst trying to do this – not that any one noticed this.

  • Keep warm.

We were eventually rescued and after a bit of tinkering the AA man sent us on our way. Next time I think I will take the train.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

365 Days, Day 360


Children will draw pictures with everything in them...houses and trees and people and animals...and the sun AND the moon. Grown-up says, "That's a nice picture, Honey, but you put the moon and the sun in the sky at the same time and that isn't right." But the child is right! The sun and moon are in the sky at the same time (R. Buckminster Fuller)

Gather up your telegrams

Your faded pictures, best laid plans

Books and postcards, 45's

Every sunset in the sky

Carry with you maps and string, flashlights

Friends who make you sing

And stars to help you find your place

Music, hope and amazing grace

Maybe what we leave

Is nothing but a tangled little mystery

Maybe what we take

Is nothing that has ever had a name

(Mary Chapin Carpenter)

Ariél decided to rinse out/use the dishwasher recently. She could not find the proper detergent for the dishwasher, so she used some Fairy (our local version of Sunlight liquid). She started the dishwasher, came back a few minutes later to see volumes of bubbling pouring out of the dishwasher! Keep Calm and Carry On. What to do! Then she recalled how, when one has a bubble bath and one uses soap to wash, the bubbles disappear. So she went and got some Dove soap (this is starting to sound like washing powder advert!) and applied it to the bubbles!

Clever girl.

Disclaimer: In reality this did not take place; it was a very vivid dream of mine.

Friday, June 10, 2011

An extra day


[Architecture] is music in space, as it were a frozen music (Friedrich von Schelling)

The Japanese garden is a very important tool in Japanese architectural design because, not only is a garden traditionally included in any house design, the garden itself also reflects a deeper set of cultural meanings and traditions. Whereas the English garden seeks to make only an aesthetic impression, the Japanese garden is both aesthetic and reflective. The most basic element of any Japanese garden design comes from the realization that every detail has a significant value (Elizabeth Barber)

Architecture is music in space. I become quite excited by the lines, from, curves, reflections, angles that are used in buildings, both ancient and modern.

London is a melange of architectural music, with toppling glass building cascading in front of medieval landmarks. The creativity in the modern buildings delights me. The environment plays a role in their aesthetics, where reflection carry on an organic line, create a new landscape.

I like the idea of nature being included in architecture. Diarmuid Gavin creates the most wonderful landscapes juxtaposing nature with man-made structures. I really used to enjoy the TV programmes he did with Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen, called Inside Out.

Aesthetic and reflective – both call out to me…

Thursday, June 9, 2011

365 Days, Day 359


The real skill is to raise the sails and to catch the power of the wind as it passes by (Thomas Berry)

If you're like many of us, you've spent years trying to feel comfortable in your own skin and to figure out what to do with your life. This is your most important purpose: to fully move into the power of your authentic self and to discover how to put that power to work in the world. There's a reason why you are here and a special way to accomplish your role in the world. But so much of us feel a lack of clarity around all this. We feel out of touch with our true nature and aren't sure why (Jean Haner)

Ariél and I have been throwing out ideas for what sort of business we could start together. She surprised me by saying we should start a catering business. She said, “You have to admit we are a-maz-ing cooks.” Hmm hadn’t quite thought of that as one of my strengths [powers]. My interest is piqued. Tick-tock, tick-tock.

A movement is needed, into the power of my authentic self. What are my powers [strengths]? Tick-tock, tick-tock.

My friend Gill sent me a text today telling me why I am ‘perfect’:

“[You’re] a fab wife, mother and friend. Actress, artist and [you’re] inspiring too. You have great clothes sense and lovely hair. [You’re] terribly brave with the move and travelling. You have more talent in your little finger than most people have in their whole bodies”. Aw bless! This really made my day. Thank you Gill!

So what to do with all my powers [strengths]? How can I harness them to start a business? Tick-tock, tick-tock.

At the moment I am trying very hard to work with love, as I sew the costumes (volunteer work). I, being me, insist on them being perfect and lined. Tick-tock, tick-tock.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

365 Days, Day 358



'It's very provoking,' Humpty Dumpty said after a long silence, looking away from Alice as he spoke, 'to be called an egg - very!'

'I said you looked like an egg, Sir,' Alice gently explained.

(Lewis Carroll)

An unhatched egg is to me the greatest challenge in life (E. B. White)

The image of an egg is loaded with symbolism. New beginnings, life, fertility… omelette… My train of thought took a slightly different path there for a moment, as my brain tends to do.

Soufflé: I remember making lemon soufflé with mom at home. Warm lemony syrupy goo.

Omelette: I have never made one. Tom makes the most delicious light omelettes.

That’s all I have to say right now. Am feeling quiet because I have rather a lot to do today.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

365 Days, Day 357





Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every 'superstar,' every 'supreme leader,' every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there - on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam (Carl Sagan)

Sitting still as stone watching - watching

People walking by you wondering why

No one ever stops to talk or thinks about it - if they ever did

People in every direction

No words exchanged

No time to exchange

And all the little ants are marching

Red and black antennas waving

They all do it the same

We all do it the same way

(Dave Matthews)

People-watching is quite fascinating. At times I weave stories about the people. Yesterday, in London, and then at the airport, there were just too many people to weave about, so I just watched. I photographed somewhat interesting people; well, that was my intention – but there were very few that fitted this category of “interesting”.

I noticed an interesting man in a suit, with dreadlocks (in his hair), but he seemed to be begging, so I did not photograph him. We came across him again later; he laid eyes on me and instead of asking me to put some money in his cup, he attempted to take my hand saying “Oh! I like you!” I avoided his hand and politely said, “Thank you,” as I continued walking. “No,” he insisted I really like you!” I did not dare engage with him anymore. So I walked away from a human encounter.

Another interesting character was a man I perceived to be American Indian. I might perhaps begin to weave a story about him.

Sitting next to a little boy at the airport, waiting, waiting… He remarks to his granny that there are so many, TOO many people. I agreed with him: so many people, each with their own little lives, their own contexts, their own histories – all intermingling. If I could freeze frame that moment, they would be captured for a spilt second of time together. A multi-coloured, multi-media pastiche all layered over another.

Little fragments of conversations, little frieze frame images captured in my mind. So many people. TOO many people.

Monday, June 6, 2011

365 Days, Day 356


I read the C.S. Lewis quote on Nicki’s Facebook status recently and decided to use it as a starting point for a blog: so here we are.

Sometimes pictures talk more than words. Sometimes other people’s words make more sense than my own, so today – the pictures and the quotes are doing the talking.

Miracles are a retelling, in small letters, of the very same story which is written across the whole world, in letters too large for some of us to see (C.S. Lewis)

There is a bridge to the sky within your soul and a doorway to healing and peace within your heart. If we look inside and embrace our true essence we bless the source of life. See beyond your vision and you will find a garden of harmony and joy where every breath is a source of inspiration. If we dream new realities we will open ourselves to abundant blessings. Together we can create miracles! (Micheal Teal)

The first step in making room for miracles is to realize that whatever difficulty you are experiencing, you are only seeing a very small piece of the picture (Melissa Casas)

Miracles seldom occur in the lives of those who do not consider them possible (Neale Donald Walsch)

I would rather make mistakes in kindness and compassion than work miracles in unkindness and hardness (Mother Teresa)

Sunday, June 5, 2011

365 Days, Day 355

If I create from the heart, nearly everything works; if from the head, almost nothing (Marc Chagall)

Listening is a magnetic and strange thing, a creative force...When we are listened to, it creates us, makes us unfold and expand. Ideas actually begin to grow within us and come to life... When we listen to people there is an alternating current, and this recharges us so that we never get tired of each other... and it is this little creative fountain inside us that begins to spring and cast up new thoughts and unexpected laughter and wisdom. ... Well, it is when people really listen to us, with quiet fascinated attention, which the little fountain begins to work again, to accelerate in the most surprising way (Brenda Ueland)

The creative process is a process of surrender, not control (Julia Cameron)

Lessons learned from this costume making experience

I need to follow my nurturing path.

I need to be a nurturer.

I also need to be creative and make, from my own time and space.

I have also realised that I am good at what I do – I am a perfectionist (which is not necessarily a good thing).

In order to cope with stress, I need to be super-organised.

I am too old to be part of someone else’s obsession – I need to create my own.

My home needs me.

I have enjoyed exploring London (even the seedier parts) except when having to carry a heavy sewing machine (on the tubes and walking down into the seedier part of Camden)!

I would very much like to train in massage and aromatherapy.

There is SO much inside of me waiting to be set free – I need desperately to get the creative juices flowing.

I need to dance.

I need to be more sensual.

I need to surrender…

Something I read today: Ask others to name what they think is your most overlooked talent or character trait. Anyone care to respond?

Friday, June 3, 2011

365 Days, Day 354

We are not in a position in which we have nothing to work with. We already have capacities, talents, direction, missions, callings (Abraham Maslow)

In my next life I want to come back as one of my cats. They basically pretend we don't exist. They sit like two bumps on a log and watch us work for hours in the yard. They're probably wondering, along with the entire neighbourhood, why we work so hard in our garden and it still looks like hell (Annie Spiegelman)

Another day of work. I played music while I worked alone in the hall. It sounded a bit lame when some men came in to move sets, so I turned it off and worked in silence.

A highlight today was seeing, from the tube, as we passed a block of flats, a little white kitten perched on a chair in the window – basking in the sun.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

365 Days, Day 353

Kissing is like drinking salted water, you drink and your thirst increases.

(Chinese Proverb)

In love, there is always one who kisses and one who offers the cheek.

(French Proverb)

The soul that can speak with its eyes can also kiss with a gaze.

(Author unknown)

I believe in pink.

I believe that laughter is the best calorie burner.

I believe in kissing, and kissing a lot.

I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong.

I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls.

I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles.

(Audrey Hepburn)

My favourite part of today, was at one of the many stations I waited on - a white feather floated down and kissed my cheek before fluttering to the ground. A message from my guardian angel.

Today was not as overwhelming as yesterday. Maybe because I prepared myself better. I fashioned a Reiki bubble around me. I bought material that I thought was suitable without consulting anyone – just went with my gut. I made my way back to the hall quietly and at an even pace. I designed and fashioned patterns for the garments. And cut them out. Working in my Reiki bubble space.

The feather was an acknowledgment kiss from my angel, saying: well done, you dealt with today. Keep going.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

365 Days, Day 352

Most locked doors are in your mind (Harry Houdini)

I was in rehearsals, waiting behind a door to come out while a couple onstage were having a row. They started throwing furniture and a chair lodged in front of the door.

My cue came and I could only get halfway in. I stopped and said, 'I can't get in. The chair's in the way.'

And the producer said, 'Use the difficulty.'

I said, 'What do you mean?'

And he said, 'Well, if it's a drama [you're acting in], pick up the chair and smash it. If it's a comedy, fall over it.'

This idea stuck in my mind, and I taught it to my children -- that any situation in life that's negative, there is something positive you can do with it.

(Michael Caine)

I spent most of the day travelling around London looking for fabric. Not a very productive day. I think this new door is somewhat jammed or the re is a “chair” in the way. Will mull over the how to “use the difficulty”…